*On April 19, 2011, UCO was granted Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Human Research Protections. Through the FWA, the university commits to HHS that it will comply with the requirements in the HHS Protection of Human Subjects regulations at 45 CFR Part 46.
The Department of Health and Human Services established local control by mandating an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for any institution that is engaged in research involving human subjects. The role of an IRB is oversight and implementation of federal regulations to insure that research is conducted according to the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report (see below). In addition, an IRB provides a forum where the local research and non-research community can provide input regarding local values, which helps to preserve the public trust in research.
UCO is committed to and guided by the ethical principles regarding research involving human subjects as set forth in the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, also known as the Belmont Report, prepared by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. UCO has pledged to abide by these principles and the resulting regulations set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulation Title 45 Part 46.
(For definitions and elaborations of the terms used in this website, please see Appendix C of the IRB's Standard Operating Procedures (pdf).)
The UCO IRB reviews all research involving human subjects conducted at or sponsored by the University of Central Oklahoma, including research activities (a) by any UCO faculty, staff, and students, (b) performed in UCO facilities, or (c) otherwise supported directly or indirectly by University resources or facilities which are under the control of UCO officials, except for UCO Institutional Research/Assessment activities.
Any activities involving information gathering from human subjects must be reviewed by the UCO-IRB. An application must be completed for all of the following:
Exempt Projects: Projects with human subjects may be exempt from IRB Board review only if they pose minimal risk to subjects and involve no identifying information or links to subjects. This may include existing data, publically available data, or responses used only for evaluating the effectiveness of a program. Please note that the term "Exempt" does not mean a UCO employee or student does not have to complete and submit an IRB application; rather, "Exempt" means the IRB application will not undergo Full Board review.
Expedited Review: Projects presenting no more than minimal risk and involving behavioral or physiological measures will be reviewed by one or more IRB Board members. (See the UCO IRB Policies or DHHS regulations for a detailed list of expedited research categories.)
Full Board Review: All projects not meeting the criteria for Exempt or Expedited Review will be reviewed by the full Institutional Review Board (IRB). Applications involving research where there is more than minimal risk to subjects or involving subject populations from vulnerable groups (prisoners, minors, pregnant women and fetuses) will require full IRB review. Those applications are due 10 working days before the next scheduled IRB meeting.
All PIs and personnel working with human subjects or their identifiable data will need to obtain a certificate identifying completion of training for Protecting Human Subjects in Research. The steps for registering to take this training can be found here. This certification will remain valid for three consecutive years as required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations.
UCO is committed to the humane care and use of vertebrate animals in animal research and educational activities, as mandated by the Animal Welfare Act and implemented by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare of the National Institutes of Health (OLAW).
All research and educational instruction involving vertebrate animals conducted by UCO faculty, staff, or students must be reviewed and approved by the UCO Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to inception, to insure the rights and welfare of vertebrate animals are properly protected. Further information and guidance regarding the laws and regulations which govern the care and use of animals in research and teaching can be found at the OLAW website listed above.